Cast: Ramon Novarro (Ben Hur), Francis X. Bushman (Messala), May McAvoy (Esther), Betty Bronson (Mary), Claire McDowell (Princess of Hur), Kathleen Key (Tirzah), Carmel Myers (Iras), Nigel De Brulier (Simonides), Mitchell Lewis (Sheik Ilderim), Leo White (Sanballat), Frank Currier (Quintus Arrius), Charles Belcher (Balthazar), Dale Fuller (Amrah), Winter Hall (Joseph)

During the reign of Imperial Rome, a young Jewish man, Ben Hur, develops a close friendship with a Roman centurion, Messala. Their friendship is shattered when Messala learns that Ben Hur is Jewish.

The ambitious centurion pleases the governor by turning Ben Hur and his family over to the authorities after a loose tile falling from their house causes the death of a general. Ben Hur is made a galley slave, and during a painful trek through the desert he meets Christ. The Messiah gives the parched Ben Hur a sip of water, a drink which gives the enslaved Jew the will to fight against his oppressors.

When the ship that Ben Hur is assigned to is attacked and begins to sink, he manages to save the life of its commander, and the grateful Roman adopts the slave. Suddenly possessed with wealth and status, Ben Hur makes a good reputation as a master charioteer.

Soon he is challenged by his old nemesis, Messala, to a race. During the intense spectacle, witnessed by thousands, Messala is trampled to death, and Ben Hur goes on to victory.

Soon after, Ben Hur learns that Christ is to be crucified in Jerusalem. He goes to witness the horrible deed, and there he is reunited with his mother and his sister, both of whom have leprosy. Through faith in Christ, they are both cured, and Ben Hur and his family return to their palace.

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copyright 2000 by Tim Lussier, all rights reserved